Faith: Choice or Obedience


Is faith an act of choice or obedience?

As Christians, we study God’s Word and we try to follow His ways and laws as much possible. Some things are easy for us to obey without having to make a choice such as not killing or robbing anyone, and yet other things cause us to think and to choose what we will do; often things that  compromise what God says but that feel right and are easy to follow. So, do we stand in faith out of choice or out of obedience?

We are free to choose. God says in Joshua 24:15 that we are free to choose who we will serve. We can choose to follow Him or we can choose to follow the gods of this world – in other words, the ways of this world. It’s a choice that we are free to make but it’s a choice that comes with either reward or consequence.

When we choose to follow God, we choose to live the lifestyle that He has suggested and not the lifestyle of the world. We choose to conduct our mannerisms according to His will and not according to our feelings or our circumstances. We choose to depend on Him and not the world. Choice is the first step towards obedience.

However, we endure conflict when our choice remains our motive for our stand because choice alone means that we accept there is more than one option before us. This opens the door to doubt as we analyze our options instead of simply following what God has set for us.

We can follow God and be blessed or follow the world and suffer the consequences of a bad choice. And although we may feel wise and in control to “choose” what we believe is right, there is always that “temptation” to go the other way – and we know that temptation leads to sin.

So, although we are truly free to choose, the very concept of choice means that we could choose wrong! If we are relying on choice to take our stand in faith, then we are opening ourselves up to letting our emotions or circumstances decide how much we are willing to trust God.

We are right to obey. Obedience means there is only one way to go whether we are in the mood or not, whether our emotions like it or not, whether our friends approve or not. Obedience means following God without analyzing, criticizing or complaining. It means picking up our cross and following Jesus.

Deciding to stand in faith may have been a choice we made initially, but standing in faith and believing God for the answer against all that the world has to offer is an act of obedience. Peter says in Acts 5:29 that we ought to obey God rather than men.

The Bible speaks a lot about obedience and 1 Samuel 15:22 says that obedience is greater than sacrifice. If we love the Lord, look up to Him as our God and deem Him worthy of our praise, then we need to go all the way and follow His concepts, do His will, live His lifestyle and love others as He loves them – all acts of obedience, not choice.

Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to please Him. When we please God He grants us the petitions that we ask. Standing in faith and believing God is an act of obedience that pleases Him, and He will bless us. Why? Because we are obedient to trust Him regardless of what anyone or anything else has to say about.

So, deciding to take a stand in faith is a choice we make, but standing in faith is truly an act of obedience. It’s the main component for pleasing God who in turn blesses us.  Faith is the substance of things hoped for – and our stand in faith begins with choice and is manifest in obedience.

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”….Joshua 24:15

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